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Hard to see where Crystal Palace’s slide into anonymity ends

| 17.01.2016

Runs of form in football are curious things. A string of games without defeat can be cut in a blink of an eye and replaced with a flurry of outings without victory.

At the moment, Crystal Palace know all about how rapidly form can change. At the end of 2015 they drew consecutive outings against Bournemouth and Swansea. Those results made it seven without losing for the Eagles.

However, they are yet to taste top-flight success in 2016 and those two draws are no longer associated with an undefeated streak. Instead, they are the beginning of a winless one.

The 4-0 loss away to Manchester City last time out was the third game in a row that Alan Pardew’s men had lost and the fifth in which his outfit hadn’t won.

Even more worryingly, the Selhurst Park side haven’t even scored a goal during that stretch to give themselves a chance of picking up three points.

The dip in form has, as you’d expect, coincided with a slide down the table. What was a position of fifth after the Swansea stalemate has become eighth following the City thumping, although the club remain just three points off sixth.

Rumours about the need for a new striker are accelerated by the bluntness infront of goal and the fixture list doesn’t appear to offer any escape to the slump.

As the Premier League’s worst form team, the prospect of hosting Tottenham, the division’s best, next time out is hardly the ideal assignment.

Ladbrokes have offered a price of 5/2 that Pardew’s men break their duck against the Lilywhites, with the visitors understandably favoured at 11/10.

After an FA Cup outing against Stoke, itself anything but a gimmee, Palace renew rivalries with Bournemouth and Swansea, the clubs that started the slump.

In March, the side face Liverpool, Man Utd, Leicester and West Ham in consecutive weeks, by which time mid-table anonymity could be all but guaranteed.

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Matt Wiggins

No idyllic sound comes close to leather on willow for Matt, whose previous experience includes stints with Spin Magazine and Surrey County Cricket Club. It's not just cricket that interests him though, with football, golf, tennis and any American sport not played on ice all high on his list of favourites.